Greenpeace activists breach nuclear power plant site in France

EDF's Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear power plant Several Greenpeace activists broke into a nuclear power plant site southeast of Paris early Monday morning, according to the BBC. 

The group, along with other planned break-ins, aimed to hang a banner stating "Safe Nuclear Power Doesn't Exist" inside the power plant's facilities. Though the attempt at the Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear plant was successful, the other two simply hung banners outside the plant grounds. 

The publicity stunt was designed to highlight the potential security concerns of relying on nuclear generation, which is responsible for roughly 75 percent of French electricity production. 

"The aim is to show the vulnerability of French nuclear installations and how easy it is to get to the heart of a nuclear reactor," Sophia Majnoni, a Greenpeace nuclear specialist, told the BBC. 

Bloomberg notes that the Greenpeace activists did not actually reach the nuclear reactor, but rather the roof of the containment building; however government officials expressed embarrassment and concern about the security breach.

In a statement released by Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear plant operator EDF, the company outlined the incident involved 9 people who “were immediately detected by the security system,” and “were monitored constantly.”

EDF went on to say the decision was made by plant officials not to use any force and the incident was under control by 11:30 a.m. local time.

All 9 intruders at the Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear site have since been arrested by national police. 

Nuclear power has come under increasing scrutiny since the reactor failure at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant in March, which engineers are still struggling to contain.


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